Lang Son Guide

Lang Son is located to the Northeast of Vietnam, 150km northeast of Hanoi. Lang Son has always been the most important trade hub between Vietnam and China throughout history. The land also marks several events which helped to shape up the Vietnamese history.

 Visiting Lang Son, you can get lost in the idyllic mountainous settings of the Northeast of Vietnam and learn a lot about the Vietnamese history. Depending on the time you have, a trip to Lang Son from Hanoi can take from one day to three days. Below you can find major tourist attractions and things to do in Lang Son City and in other districts of Lang Son Province.

1/ To Thi Mountain, the Mac Citadel, Tam Thanh Cave
On the same site of the To Thi Mountain you can visit the Tam Thanh Pagoda, Tam Thanh Cave. The cave is amazing going through the limestone mountain. The To Thi Mountain offers breathtaking views of Lang Son City.

On the mountain in 1527 Mac Kinh Cung ordered to build a military citadel for fighting against the Le - Trinh. The citadel was built taking advantage of the natural settings of the mountain. The citadel is 1m thick blocking the gaps between the mountain peaks. Back then, the citadel overlooked the single route from Thang Long (Hanoi now) to the northern border with China.

The Tam Thanh Pagoda, Lang Son City
The Tam Thanh Pagoda, Lang Son City

2/ Nhi Thanh Cave
Another amazing cave inside a limestone mountain. A visit of the cave takes 20 minutes. The cave is 300m from the Tam Thanh Cave.

3/ Ky Lua Market
The century-old market has been here since the very foundation of Lang Son. Visiting the market bring some insights into the local life.

4/ Ancient Citadel of Lang Son (Doan Thanh)
There are no records of the construction of the citadel of Lang Son (Doan Thanh) which as the perimeter of 1,544m (=2*(392+380)). The citadel experienced several renewals in the history: 1495, 1756-58, 1837, 2001, 2005-2006.

The walls of the citadel are 4m high and built with fired bricks. The base of the walls is 10m wide and the top is 3m wide. There are embrasures every 2m which are 1.35m above the ground.

The citadel was for the defensive purpose with gates to the north, south, east and west. There are still rusty old canons at these gates. There were 19 security posts around the citadel. At each gate, there was a temple safeguarding the citadel against bad spirits.

5/ Mau Son Mountain
The Mau Son Mountain is in Loc Binh District, 30km east of Lang Son City. The mountain is over 1,000m in elevation with cool climate all year round. Mau Son was built into a hill station for the French to get away from the delta heat in the summer and the legacy includes several French-styled villas.

Mau Son is a popular tourist attraction for Vietnamese tourists nowadays. It is busy in the summer at weekend and in late December – January with possible chance of getting snow.

6/ Chi Lang Passage (Ai Chi Lang)
The passage is created by two ranges of mountains running in parallel from north to south. The length of the passage is 20km and the widest part of the passage is 3km. The northern gate is called Quy Mon Quan (Gate of the Devils) and the southern gate is called Luy Ngo The (Gate of Oaths).

In the past the Chi Lang Passage was the single route between Thang Long (Hanoi now) and China and the passage marks several victories of the Vietnamese in defensive wars against invasions by China. The decisive victories include those in 981 (Le Dai Hanh against the Song), 1076 (Than Canh Phuc against the Song), 1251-57-88 (three invasions by the Yuan), 1527 (Le Loi against the Ming).

Chi Lang is a scenic spot which should take 1-2 hours to visit and learn about the site. Chi Lang is 50k south of Lang Son City and 110km north of Hanoi. The passage is 500m far from the new highway between Hanoi and Lang Son City.

7/ Hang Gio (Cave of Winds)
This is an amazing cave in Dong Mo Township with three storeys. The cave is 40km south of Lang Son City on the old Route 1.

8/ Huu Lung Mountains
Scenic limestone mountains for rock climbing tours and hiking tours.

9/ Bac Son Valley
Scenic mountains and valley of colorful rice fields. This is a good place for cycling tours and for travel photography.

A breathtaking view from the top of the Na Lay Mountain at Bac Son
A breathtaking view from the top of the Na Lay Mountain at Bac Son